Skip To Content

    That Hipster's Crowdfunding Project For His Dates Was A PR Stunt Gone Wrong

    A modern-day morality tale. Updated: BuzzFeed News has uncovered some new and rather interesting details on the background to this story – see bottom of post.

    Right. Where to start with this. Well, first of all, in case you haven't, you need to meet Tom Packer.

    Tom's a 26-year-old from Norwich who works in a cocktail bar.

    Reading Tolkien by the river..perfect way to spend a Sunny Sunday afternoon #bookworm #tattoo #jrrtolkien

    Tom Packer@TomlebeaupackerFollow

    Reading Tolkien by the river..perfect way to spend a Sunny Sunday afternoon #bookworm #tattoo #jrrtolkien

    11:44 PM - 29 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    He's proud of his poetry.

    He also describes himself as a "hopeless sarcastic romantic" who "likes reading as much as going out with friends" and "finds thunderstorms relaxing to listen to".

    Saw friend hadn't seen in six years last night. Oh and some stranger said I looked like a natural in the waistcoat!

    Tom Packer@TomlebeaupackerFollow

    Saw friend hadn't seen in six years last night. Oh and some stranger said I looked like a natural in the waistcoat!

    8:55 PM - 18 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    Anywho: Last week people started flipping out over his Indiegogo page, on which people were invited to crowdfund his dates.

    It included this video.

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    And these enticing offers.

    For a start, if you're paying him £100 surely he's not the one taking you out? Anyway.

    On Instagram Tom said the whole thing was a joke.

    indiegogo.com

    BuzzFeed News has tried to get in touch with him to find out more.

    As you can see, he plotted out how this whole thing was going to go down on this elaborate graph.

    But here are some things he probably didn't expect.

    Someone setting up an Indiegogo project to have him catapulted into the face of the sun...

    ...people digging out tweets from him like this...

    90% of the attractive females are too young..is there something in the water that wipes out the hot girls once they hit 20?!

    Tom Packer@TomlebeaupackerFollow

    90% of the attractive females are too young..is there something in the water that wipes out the hot girls once they hit 20?!

    2:26 PM - 12 Dec 12ReplyRetweetFavorite

    ...and telling a bunch of nasty stories about him to the local press...

    ...people trolling the crap out of him...

    .@Tomlebeaupacker Hi tom! Can't afford to take you to Paris but how much for a poem about Dean Ambrose's face? X

    Sexecutioner Smaugh@ess_j_essFollow

    .@Tomlebeaupacker Hi tom! Can't afford to take you to Paris but how much for a poem about Dean Ambrose's face? X

    1:51 PM - 21 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

    ...and pointing out that he has this rather troubling tattoo...

    ...and finally, someone creating another crowdfunded project to ruin his dates by following him around with an accordion.

    indiegogo.com

    "I also have a trumpet kazoo which has already been kindly donated."

    And the long and short of it is that Tom's Indiegogo has now been abandoned, and that is the story of Tom Packer, or why you should never follow your dreams.

    Well now, here's an interesting development. Shortly after this story was published, Gavin Murphy from the Regular Features podcast got in touch. He wrote:

    "I was one of the people who donated £100 to get a date with Tom. Soon after donating, I was contacted by a PR company who is 'working with Tom' on the campaign to say he's ended it early and wanted to give the money to charity. I replied to them to say I was happy for that to happen if I still get my date but apparently Tom wasn't up for that."

    Murphy asked for the money back so his listeners – who had donated it – could choose the charity. At the time of writing he's still waiting to see it.

    Anyway, the PR company in question was, according to Gavin, Dynamo PR.

    One of Dynamo's clients is the social network Twoo, which got a story in the Daily Mail last year about a stunt involving a man and a woman taking to the streets of London with mistletoe strapped to their heads. And the man in this story appears to be a Mr Tom Packer, who referenced "walking the streets of London with mistletoe strapped to my head" in his Indiegogo. All of which has now been deleted, by the way.

    BuzzFeed News has reached out to Dynamo PR for further comment. It also has yet to hear back from Tom Packer.

    A Dynamo PR spokesman said:

    "Tom is a friend of ours, we had worked with him previously on a mistletoe video campaign and got involved with him on this early on.

    "It was a bit of a tongue-in-cheek crowdfunding campaign. Some of the reaction has been hilarious but as you pointed out, some of the tweets have been more aggressive, rather than funny so the page ended early. All funds are being refunded to those who pledged."

    Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Alan White at alan.white@buzzfeed.com.

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here